CRC: Whitney Young Rallies

WHEELING – Down 18 midway through the third quarter?

No problem for Whitney Young.

The Dolphins got back in the nationally televised game with a 26-3 run that spanned parts of the third and fourth quarters and held off Prime Prep 72-69 at the Cancer Research Classic at Wheeling Jesuit.

Georgetown signee Paul White had 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds and Duke signee Jahlil Okafor had 24 points and nine rebounds and were named co-MVPs for the game. Okafor was the overall tournament MVP.

“We just told the kids (when down 18) that we were down but not out of it,” Whitney Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “We’ve been in this position all year, so it wasn’t new. When we realized we were in a dogfight, we fought back. I thought Prime Prep fought hard, but our guys never quit.”

The Dolphins come back started slowly, a free throw by Okafor, but it quickly turned into a snowball, with Whitney Young causing havoc with its defense and by the end of the third quarter, the eight-point deficit was cut to 10.

It didn’t stop there.

White and Okafor took over the game, and by the time Prime Prep got its footing, Okafor and White had combined for 12 points on a 17-2 run to start the fourth and the Dolphins had a 65-60 lead.

Prime Prep didn’t go away, getting back to within one, 70-69, on a slam by Paul Washington with 22.8 seconds left.

However, Christian Everett answered off a runout on the preceding inbounds play to make it a three-point game.

Terrance Ferguson (who was 6 of 10 from 3-point range) misfired on a 30 footer at the buzzer.

“This one is one me,” Prime Prep coach Ray Forsett said. “(Slaughter) outcoached me in the second half. We were in pretty good shape and we lost that energy we had for the first three quarters. We beat them for three quarters, but they beat us when and where it mattered.”

Myles Reynolds, who hit a 3-pointer from halfcourt to end the half and pull Whitney Young to within four at the break, finished with 11 points.

Ferguson had 20 to lead Prime Prep. Emmanuel Mudiay had 16 and Micah Seaborn 12.